Man jailed after PCSOs sniff out cannabis farm

PUBLISHED: 14:57 16 November 2012

Archant

Motorcycle mechanic had cannabis worth £15,980 in a Tesco bag.

A motorcycle mechanic has been jailed after sharp nosed police sniffed out a cannabis farm which he had created at his workshop unit.

Richard Hayter fixed and sold bikes in one of the two units he rented and built a sophisticated hydroponic operation in the other.

He was caught after to police community support officers picked up the distinctive smell of growing cannabis as they patrolled the Lobsgrove Park Units at Whiteball, on the Devon Somerset border.

The drugs were worth almost £16,000 and although Hayter claimed they were for his own use police reckoned it would take him 25 years to get through them.

Hayter, aged 52, of Horners Gardens, Bishops Lydeard, admitted producing and possessing cannabis and was jailed for 16 months by Recorder Paul Derbyshire at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge told him: “This was a sophisticated commercial set up generating quantities of cannabis far in excess of your own needs. There must have been considerable risk of onward supply.

“You had a significant role and were in charge of the operation.”

Mr Gareth Evans, prosecuting, said: “A search was made of the premises of his business MRB motorcycles because two police community support officers smelled cannabis inside.

“He occupied two units, one of which was a motorcycle sales and repair business and the other was used for producing cannabis with a potential yield of 2.1 kilograms.”

He said harvested cannabis was found in a Tesco bag and the total amount was valued at £15,980 by police and Hayter has a previous conviction for growing cannabis in 2007.

Hayter represented himself and said: “I have had time to reflect on my behaviour and I am changing my life having realised the mistakes I have made. I have been immature and foolish and made bad decisions.”

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